Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bidding Wars in Phoenix

Everyone knows that certain parts of the country--the ones that were growing quickly--took the biggest hit in the recent downturn.  Arizona and Nevada, along with Florida, are always mentioned as places with thousands of homes for sale at drastically reduced prices.  Now, things are changing, even in those states.  Today's New York Times has an article about the return of bidding wars to Phoenix.  The story points out that this is not necessarily because prices would have risen on their own, but because the supply is finally drying up, and there is more demand for what's left.  That sounds like a normal explanation of supply and demand to me!

Prices in high-end neighborhoods in and around Phoenix are still dropping, but many of the foreclosures in harder-hit areas have moved through the system, leaving homebuyers with little to choose from.  Even new construction, which is finally picking up, cannot keep up with the pace of demand.  One suburban home, a foreclosed property, had 84 offers before the bank closed off further ones.  This illustrates how a glut of short sales and foreclosures can hold down prices, and what can happen when the flow of such properties ends.